As you all know, I am cooking for two.
All of the recipes on this blog are for 2 – or for 2 for two dinners (okay, more if it’s soup…. but hey, it’s soup!)
For some things that’s easy….
2 chicken breasts are a breeze to grill.
My small crock-pot does a great job on 2 pork chops.
We can get a huge main course salad out of 1 head of lettuce.
Other things are more of a problem….
It can take most of the week to eat a big head of cauliflower or cabbage – and they are always big.
Then there are the things that just seem to fussy to bother with for a small amount….
Like making a half cup of béchamel.
And yet, sometimes I really want just a half cup of béchamel.
Fortunately, I have learned that béchamel (and many other things) will keep for a few days in the fridge.
I’ll post the recipe using the other 1/2 cup of the béchamel next.Print
White Asparagus Gratin
White asparagus gratin is a popular first course in the spring. Peel the spears carefully, all the way to the top. They are brittle and break easily…. But they are worth it.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: Vegetable
- Cuisine: French
- 10 white or violet asparagus spears, peeled
- 1 1/2 tbs butter
- 1 1/2 tbs flour
- 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
- 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) milk
- 3 tbs Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 tsp tarragon
- 1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) Gruyère cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 oz (45gr) bacon, chopped, fried until crisp
- Bring a large pan of water to boil and blanch the asparagus for 5 minutes, 8 minutes if thick.
- Drain and place in a baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter.
- Add flour and cook, stirring with a whisk or fork.
- Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until you have a thick sauce.
- Stir in mustard.
- Remove from heat.
- Take 1/2 cup of the sauce and refrigerate the rest for another use.
- Stir tarragon and yogurt into the 1/2 cup sauce
- Pour sauce over asparagus.
- Sprinkle with cheese, then top with bacon
- Bake, 400F (200C) for 15 minutes, until the sauce is browned and bubbly.
- Remove, divide onto 2 plates and serve.
Use green asparagus if that is what you have available – cut blanching time by 2 minutes and refresh in cold water to maintain the color. It’s not necessary to peel green asparagus.
Keywords: asparagus, gratin
On another subject….. I know you are all anxious to see my Bug House, er, I mean, Insect Hotel.
This is a 3 bug hotel….
The top, with the little tubes is for bees, mainly, according to the booklet that came with the hotel, the red mason bee.
The bottom left is for ladybugs (ladybirds for the Brits); and bottom right is for earwigs.
I, personally, find earwigs particularly creepy and did not knowingly by a house for them. However, I have since learned that the earwigs, along with the ladybugs, eat vast quantities of aphids.
My potager is usually blessed with vast quantities of aphids.
It’s supposed to be protected from wind and rain which means I don’t really have a good place next to or in my potager. So I have it on my potting table which is very protected and gets full morning sun.
I haven’t noticed anyone checking in yet, but it’s only been there a few days.
And it may be too late in the season.
We shall see.